Rich Visco of Shebeen - "people in Connecticut don't support their local breweries."

Discussion in 'New England' started by north7, Dec 31, 2014.

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  1. north7

    north7 Initiate (0) Dec 24, 2014 Connecticut

  2. codasnap52

    codasnap52 Zealot (508) Jan 24, 2008 Connecticut
    Trader

    NEBCO and OEC offerings probably account for over half of my beer purchases these days. I would argue that CT Craft Drinkers are some of the fiercest supporters of our local breweries around. Particularly the ones we love. And we could ALL give numerous examples, but there's no point listing them here. What this fellow needs to understand is it is all about quality, quality, quality. I will always choose to drink local, but if the "national brands" (and in some cases, international ones) prove to have a superior product, I will go with them every time.

    I've visited Shebeen twice since they opened, both times I had out of town friends visiting and although we were pleased with the overall experience in the tasting room, the biggest fault was with the beer itself. The average beer was pedestrian. I'd consider visiting again if I find myself in the area, but I have no desire to pluck their products off the shelf when there are numerous superior options to choose from, many of those from in-state competitors who I enthusiastically support.

    Simply existing is not enough to garner our support. But if Shebeen can make that Concord Grape Saison taste like something brewed at Jester King, their Cannoli Beer taste like a Tree House stout and their Turbo IPA taste like it came straight from the tanks at Maine Beer Co, Richie will wish he had an extra 75% unused brewing capacity to spare.
     
  3. beergrrl

    beergrrl Initiate (168) Dec 9, 2003 New Hampshire

    "The brewery began with a one-barrel production system. By late 2013, Visco ramped up production by installing a 15-to-30 barrel brewing system, along with a canning unit."

    Yes, because all growth is linear, infinitely.

    The bubble is popping. Brewers Association can cite brewery sales and production stats, but in the end, those aren't necessarily consumer sales, as speciality beer retail and tap space is expanding.

    When I walk into my fav beer-cave-store and see dusty spring seasonals on sale during December, I wonder.

    Local is cool. So called sustainable is cool. But at the end of the day, food is not sports, and money will go towards quality, not nostalgia, I think.

    NEBCO? Willi? Black Hog? CT has plenty of world class local beers.
     
  4. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Initiate (176) Jun 7, 2005 New York

    Wow. Not sure if that guy is incredibly uncouth or just insanely delusional and misinformed.

    If he's worried about how his business is doing now....
     
    sandman3479 likes this.
  5. Patbrown2

    Patbrown2 Initiate (130) Nov 27, 2013 Connecticut

    What a joke....
     
  6. bluehende

    bluehende Poo-Bah (2,432) Dec 10, 2010 Delaware
    Society

    Ah yes. The business owner that blames his customers for not buying his products. I see this ending well for them.
     
  7. grahuba

    grahuba Champion (874) Feb 14, 2011 Connecticut

    Crap beer. I have gotten into so many arguments with bar patrons that think this brewery brews good beer. Pineapple this, canoli that. Make a good beer without the gimicky flavors...
     
  8. Justin42

    Justin42 Aspirant (235) Apr 3, 2013 Massachusetts
    Trader

    I didn't know Rogue opened up a CT location? I kid, I kid... :slight_smile:
     
  9. blckout20

    blckout20 Aspirant (203) May 24, 2012 Connecticut

    Visiting the brewery I found it to be disorganized, and all the beers were average at best. Wouldn't go out of my way to visit when there are better options around. I wonder how other breweries feel about this. :rolling_eyes:
     
    LagersAndAles likes this.
  10. jujigatame

    jujigatame Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2009 Massachusetts

    I would hope he has considered contract brewing or renting out to gypsy brewers in the meantime to make back something on all that production capacity that's sitting idle. Otherwise, as has been mentioned, get with the program that your product won't sell or grow automatically just because it's local.

    And then there's his idea that his beer will make a splash in SC because it's new and unusual, i.e. not local. I'd worry about your own backyard first before thinking you're going to run all over another region by virtue of being an outsider.
     
    #10 jujigatame, Jan 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
  11. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (541) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    "Also, Visco is rebranding some of his beers to make them more appealing. For instance, Bacon Kona Stout will be renamed Java Pig Stout and feature more aggressive labeling." (from the article)

    This will fix everything...
     
  12. mkabull

    mkabull Initiate (177) Nov 2, 2007 Massachusetts
    Trader

    I visited Shebeen while on vacation in CT. I found the beer on tap to be awful. I bought some prefilled growlers ( 2 "sours" and a grape saison) and those weren't any better ,possibly even worse. This guy should sell his equipment and close down. When your big beer is a gimic (I.e. Canolli Beer ) you have issues.
     
  13. Horbar

    Horbar Zealot (508) Feb 24, 2012 Rhode Island

    How can he drink his own beer an not taste the problem?
     
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  14. jim102864

    jim102864 Zealot (519) Aug 9, 2005 Connecticut

    It appears this guy doesn't understand that the marketplace will determine if you're worthy of success or not. There are some damn good breweries in this state that will survive, while there are others that are just producing pedestrian product. Just like any other industry, only the strong will survive. Given the number of new breweries that have opened in the last two years, I suspect he'll be part of a future thinning of the herd along with other breweries with the same issues he apparently has.
     
  15. bluehende

    bluehende Poo-Bah (2,432) Dec 10, 2010 Delaware
    Society

    The small brewery market right now is a fascinating study in markets. Five years ago I believe any brewery would survive because of the huge demand for local beer and such little supply. All you needed was to have a product that did not suck. Many home brewers and smart businessmen saw this and started the process toward easy money. The problem is how long it takes to actually open the brewery. Markets change in a couple of years. I think there is still room for all and maybe even a few more as the segment is growing fast. The difference now is that you cannot survive unless you produce a good product. There are too many choices. As we continue these breweries will have to compete harder and harder to survive.
     
  16. smutty33

    smutty33 Crusader (742) Jun 12, 2009 Connecticut
    Trader

    I'm surprised Shebeen is still in business.The beer is simply not good.To say anything from them tasted average would be a compliment.
     
  17. JJSmash

    JJSmash Disciple (366) Nov 23, 2011 Connecticut

    I just checked the CT Beer Trail site seems as Shebeen is trying to win customers with freebies. Free growler and free hat while supplies last.
     
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  18. Beericjb

    Beericjb Initiate (126) Jan 9, 2012 Connecticut

  19. MenardMa

    MenardMa Disciple (335) Feb 6, 2011 Connecticut

    I stopped by this place about a year and a half ago to try them out and to get my free growler since I made a small crowd funding contribution before they opened.

    I haven't been back since. Just...not good. I didn't mind the pineapple wheat for a summer beer but I don't know that i'd buy it in stores. In fact I think I have only purchased MAYBE one of their bombers off the shelf at all, and it was Royal IPA which I hated as well.

    It's going to get harder from here for these little brewers that don't stand out, NOT easier. In 2015 I know of at least 4 or 5 more breweries looking to open. Make good beer and stop blaming the market for your failure.
     
  20. mikeyv35

    mikeyv35 Zealot (557) Oct 15, 2008 New York
    Trader

    You guys have all hit the nail on the head. In today's craft beer scene, to make it out of the gates and be successful you simply have to produce fantastic beer. There is too much competition out there to make mediocre at best beer and survive. I would never dream of even trying to open a brewery unless I had a lights out saison, IPA, and DIPA recipe that I could knock out of the park batch after batch. Having basic core offerings that are brewed to near perfection is the key, not Cannoli beers.
     
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  21. WeaponTheyFear

    WeaponTheyFear Aspirant (222) Mar 9, 2008 Connecticut

    I've had the same experience of everyone else in this thread. I bought a groupon from them during the summer which included 4 tasters for 2, a tour, and 2 glasses. I figured for $10 it can't be a horrible purchase. Their beers weren't offensive just boring and extremely mediocre. I left without purchasing anything and went to OEC instead. There are too many good to great beers made in CT to be drinking beer that just happens to be better than BMC. The whole drink local movement is all well and good but I'm not going to drink local just because it's brewed 20 minutes from me. Brew good beer and I'll buy it.
     
  22. MenardMa

    MenardMa Disciple (335) Feb 6, 2011 Connecticut

    I also want to point out that while most of the beer is just slightly below average, the concord grape saison tastes nothing like any saison i've ever had or want to have again, and that mashed potato beer is a vile travesty.
     
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  23. grahuba

    grahuba Champion (874) Feb 14, 2011 Connecticut

    Amen
     
  24. smanson56

    smanson56 Champion (801) Feb 15, 2014 New Hampshire
    Trader

    It sounds to me like some sour grapes here, no pun intended. Sounds like he tried to jump in on the craft beer boom without doing the work that it involves to make a really good beer. I stopped by on a trip through the area and well looked at the list of offerings at the time and am not one to try the gimmick beers. I want my IPA to be good and drinkable at least to my tastes and just didn't find it here. I wish him the best of luck, but at this point I think he has got into a deep enough hole that it will be a lot of work to get out of.
     
    grahuba likes this.
  25. CTJman

    CTJman Champion (836) Jan 14, 2013 Connecticut
    Trader

    For me he put the nail in the coffin when he started bashing Nebco on his little untappd account....meanwhile saying his beers were the best.
    If i recall correctly this dude was giving Gandhi Bot bad ratings and saying it tasted like gross "Grass Clippings." I think there was another instance there as well. Screw this dude and his crap beer. Out of pure decency if he didnt like the beer keep your mouth shut and move on. You run a brewery - its not exactly a smart move to publicly bash others in the same industry...in the same small state. Seems he will never learn.
     
  26. MenardMa

    MenardMa Disciple (335) Feb 6, 2011 Connecticut

    I was just reading the article from last year where a blogger was in the tap room as the owner and his buddies tried Weiss Trash from NEBco and basically spit it out and loudly bashed it and took to untappd to give it a terrible rating and say it was nasty. Maybe if they put some mashed potatoes in it he'd like it. Or perhaps some instant stuffing mix and gravy?
     
  27. CTJman

    CTJman Champion (836) Jan 14, 2013 Connecticut
    Trader

    That was the other instance i was trying to think of. Guy is a real winner!
     
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  28. grahuba

    grahuba Champion (874) Feb 14, 2011 Connecticut

    Stuffing, geez. Don't give Rich any more ideas for flavors now. :astonished:
     
  29. Patbrown2

    Patbrown2 Initiate (130) Nov 27, 2013 Connecticut

    The gimmick beers are what you work on AFTER you develop your core products.
     
  30. jbertsch

    jbertsch Meyvn (1,213) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    Operating at 25% of capacity and he has excess inventory? Ouch.
     
  31. HuskyHawk

    HuskyHawk Disciple (396) Jun 5, 2014 Massachusetts

    Never been there and now I won't. It's pretty simple for all these breweries, make a great beer, offer it at a fair price, or in a worthy setting and you will have customers. NEBCO isn't worried about dusty cans of Ghandi-Bot, and Treehouse and Trillium sell everything they make pretty quickly. Wormtown, Jack's Abby...there is a recipe for success.
     
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  32. MenardMa

    MenardMa Disciple (335) Feb 6, 2011 Connecticut

    Yeah, it's hard to even fathom someone being this dense. How can he look around at the extreme success at some of these equally small, equally new places and still think it's a lack of support for local beer that is the issue?
     
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  33. bluehende

    bluehende Poo-Bah (2,432) Dec 10, 2010 Delaware
    Society

    This would keep me from stopping in even if he made good beer.
     
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  34. Homebrew

    Homebrew Disciple (383) Sep 5, 2012 Connecticut

    I personally went out of my way to carry the line of Shebeen beers at my store in East Hampton, although good sales at first after trying the line myself I can see why sales are almost non existent. the beer flat out sucks, sorry but it does. I had better tasting beer when most of my batches were infected(problem solved though) I'm sorry to say that, although local as far as CT brewed and richie living just 5min. from my store, I will no longer carry Shebeen products. :slight_frown::slight_frown:
     
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  35. jaxon53

    jaxon53 Meyvn (1,159) Mar 1, 2006 Connecticut
    Trader

    This guy is delusional! No one likes his beer here, why would people like it elsewhere? I'm sure there are plenty of shitty breweries in SC, already taking up precious shelf space. ..
     
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  36. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (345) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    Rich, I just bought Sea Hag last night. CT breweries that deserve support get it. Don't blame the consumer because they don't like your product, your time would be better spent developing recipes that people like. I'd start with any NEBCO beers and reverse engineer something from there. Better get on it before you go under.
     
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  37. a74gent

    a74gent Aspirant (295) Mar 16, 2010 Massachusetts
    Trader

    Liking this was not enough...sums up my views exactly on "local" brewers. I wish I could give this to every person who is drinking "you name it" beer because it was brewed in MA....I don't give a shit where it was brewed....I drink for taste...why do you put stuff in your mouth?
     
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  38. Patbrown2

    Patbrown2 Initiate (130) Nov 27, 2013 Connecticut

    Once Beer'd expands, the local landscape is gonna get even tougher.
     
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  39. garylite

    garylite Initiate (0) Oct 28, 2010 Connecticut

    Holy hell this beer must really suck. I live in CT and consider myself a beer geek and have never heard or seen this beer on a tap line or in a can
     
  40. MenardMa

    MenardMa Disciple (335) Feb 6, 2011 Connecticut

    It has been getting more common around central CT I think, I've been seeing some bombers of their "turbo IPA" around. Bought it once the first time I saw it, probably 6 months ago and didn't like it at all.
     
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